Gather round, friends, and hear the story of the Dictionary of American Regional English, the new fifth volume of which finally completes the journey from A to Izzard:
Now have some fun! Take an interactive quiz offered up by the Wall Street Journal, one by ABC World News, and another by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has hosted the DARE project for decades. Read a list of DARE words with their definitions from the New York Times. Dive into more of the project’s archives by listening to audio recordings of speakers throughout the country, or listen to a composite of a dozen speakers all telling one story.
Had enough? Not hardly, we’re sure. DARE’s been called “one of the glories of contemporary American scholarship,” a “work to consult, and a work to savor,” one that’s “endlessly rewarding to dip into,” so much so that you’ll have a hard time pulling yourself out. But, more than just a good time, DARE is a window on a country, what the Times calls “an invaluable guide to the way Americans not only speak but also live.”
It’s even been said that DARE is a national treasure, and though we blush we’ll agree. And, in order to share DARE’s riches, we’re happy to make all five volumes available at a special discounted price for the entire month of March. To help spread gems like flannel cake, buck buck, packsaddle worm, pungle, scramble dinner, and goozle? It’s the least we could do.
UPDATE: Chief Editor Joan Houston Hall discussed DARE on the Diane Rehm Show on March 7th. Listen online here.